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Second Arrest made in Killing of Mississippi family

Jaidon Hill

Jaidon Hill

A second suspect has been arrested and charged in the abduction and killing of a Mississippi woman and her 7-year-old son, authorities saidThursday.

Cedric D. Mason, 30, of Jackson, was arrested and charged with two counts each of capital murder and kidnapping, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

Mason is charged in the deaths of Atira Hughes-Smith and her 7-year-old son, Jaidon Hill.

Police responded to the family’s wrecked and burned vehicle in a remote area southwest of Jackson. After finding clothing and Hughes-Smith’s work ID in a gas station trash bin, state agents arrested Timothy L. Burns and charged him with two counts of murder and arson.

Atira Hughes-Smith

Atira Hughes-Smith

Authorities said Burns led authorities to the bodies of Hughes-Smith and her son at an abandoned home about a mile from the vehicle. The body of Laterry Smith, whom relatives said had recently married Hughes-Smith, was also found. However, neither Mason nor Burns has been charged in that death.

M.A. Bass, Burns’ court-appointed attorney, said he hasn’t met with Burns yet and that Burns might next appear in court in December. Mason does not yet have an attorney.

MBI spokesman Warren Strain said police would not comment on a possible motive.

Laterry Smith

Laterry Smith

“It’s all still part of the investigation,” said MBI spokesman Warren Strain said.

Copiah County Coroner Ellis Stuart said that preliminary autopsy reports showed the boy died from a shotgun wound to the back, while Hughes-Smith died from multiple shotgun wounds. Smith had multiple bullet wounds, but not from a shotgun.

Penny King, a relative of Atira Hughes-Smith, spoke through tears when she told ABC News about the family. She described Jaidon as an “energetic, all-American boy.”

“He’s full of energy and full of life. He worked in the church,” she said.. “He just didn’t deserve this at all.”

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